Work to refurbish the lake area at Colchester Hospital has begun.
The project started before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and has resumed this week. It is part of the wider redevelopment of the front of the main hospital building.
The benefits of green space to health and wellbeing are well recognised. These improvements to the lake and surrounding area will mean patients, visitors and staff can enjoy it for years to come. The improved habitat will also benefit local wildlife.
While the work is taking place over the next few weeks, fish in the lake are being removed. This process is going ahead tomorrow, 11 June.
A licensed firm will catch the fish, give them a health check and then care for them until they are able to return to the lake. Staff will also check on the hospital’s resident ducks to make sure they are safe and well.
Paul Fenton is Director of Estates and Facilites at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) which runs Colchester Hospital.
He said: “We want our patients, visitors and staff to continue to enjoy the lake. That is why we are improving this area at the front of the hospital. Continuing to look after local wildlife is also important to us.”
The work will include:
- Removing around 20 years’ worth of silt. This will then be taken to Rainham where it will form part of an RSPB wildlife reserve.
- Re-lining the lake
- Tree root removal
- Renewing banks
- New planting and landscaping
- Installing equipment to maintain water quality over the coming years
After draining the lake a small fenced pool will be set up by the lakeside, near to the Cancer Wellbeing Centre. This will be for water fowl, including the remaining ducklings which cannot fly.
ESNEFT sought detailed advice from Essex Wildlife Trust before the work began.
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